There are some who subscribe to the school of thought that says you should only write/blog/talk if you have something to say. I disagree. Good writing is an exercise in clear thinking. Well-written prose can carry meanings on multiple levels, indicative of a marriage of substance, semantics, and style. Forcing yourself to write can be just as much an exercise in self-discipline as self-indulgence. But how do you tap a muse that is playing hide-and-seek with you?
- Random input.
Go plug into something new. Preferably more than one thing. Watch a documentary. Go to PopUrls, close your eyes, and click on a couple of links at random. Consider what those websites have in common. Hone in on that concept, and follow the inspiration where it leads.
- Look for the big in the little.
Wound tightly within even the smallest moment, you can find the human condition. The universal hum can drone to the point of inaudibility if we don’t celebrate it every now and again. Every picture on Flickr means something to somebody. Every gesture of kindness has a significance. The smallest of victories is still a triumph waiting to be celebrated.
- Look for the little in the big.
Some events (and people) carry such magnitude that it’s hard to wrap our minds around the enormity. Small details can whittle away the hype, and reveal character and humanity. You don’t have to describe 50,000 people at a march, just one.
- Be a bridge.
The interesting developments in science and philosophy have always come at intersections and crossroads. Mastering one skill or domain is important, but mastering others provides additional context – and provides great fodder for discussion. Cross some wires. See what happens.
These are just a few of the ways I go about getting “unstuck” as a writer. Share yours in the comments. Or, if you’ve ever used any of the above, link in as examples.
[tags]Ike Pigott, Occam’s RazR, writing, philosophy, language[/tags]